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Son of a bigot. As the pastor of the much-reviled Westboro Baptist Church, Fred Phelps has become synonymous with hatred.

Son of a bigot

The pastor and his family make it a point to carry signs at the funerals saying, “Thank God for Dead Soldiers.” They show up to media-friendly events with signs that read, “God Hates Fags.” Nate Phelps is the sixth of Fred’s 13 children, and he has the scars to show for it. He describes his father as verbally and physically abusive. When he was 18, Nate ran away from home and from the fundamentalist Calvinist religion in which he was raised. Now in his 50s, Nate finds himself publicly squaring off with his father and siblings to reverse their legacy of intolerance. It was a very strict environment. How did your father explain that to you? He was able to justify using verses out of the Bible. And when you talk about the physical violence was it something that was spontaneous or routine? It was both. Did he use his belt or a cane, what was his …?

No, it was very public. I just yelled. Healthy Perspective: The latest health & wellness news with a dose of conversation. Your Friday morning health roundup: The U.S. health care system wastes $750 billion a year, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine.By KAREN BLEIER, AFP/Getty ImagesHealth care waste: The U.S. health care system wastes $750 billion a year on unneeded care, useless paperwork, fraud and other failures and could make changes that would both save money and improve health, says a report from the Institute of Medicine.

Healthy Perspective: The latest health & wellness news with a dose of conversation

The bluntly worded report says that if banks ran like the health system, ATM transactions would take days and that if airlines ran like the health system, pilots could design their own pre-flight safety checks or not do them at all. (Associated Press) Red wine surprise: The idea that you can drink your way to heart health takes a hit from a new study -- at least if your idea of drinking involves alcohol. The study found men were more likely to see modest improvements in blood pressure when they drank non-alcoholic red wine than when they drank the harder stuff. All the Single Ladies. The noxious “legitimate rape” comment by Todd Akin, Missouri congressman and Senate candidate, has me once again pondering a simple question: Why do any women vote Republican?

All the Single Ladies

The Republican establishment rushed in to pressure Akin to drop out of the race — something that he refused to do — in part because they want to win the seat, win control of the Senate and win Missouri for Romney. A SurveyUSA poll earlier this month — before “legitimate rape” — found Romney and Obama in a statistical tie in the state. But as The New York Times pointed out Wednesday: As a legislator, Mr. Akin has a record on abortion that is largely indistinguishable from those of most of his Republican House colleagues, who have viewed restricting abortion rights as one of their top priorities. Republicans are worried about the political fallout from Akin’s comment, though. I’ve seen all of the things that you’ve seen, people telling him he should go. That’s the point. The Rev.

Why? How to suck at your religion. Pope Francis says Big Bang theory does not contradict role of God. Atheist's View On Life Could Make Anyone Cry. 4 Minutes In, The Interviewer Almost Gets Choked Up. Terry Gross: I think having friends who die, getting older, getting closer toward the end of a life tests people's faith, and it also tests people's atheism.

Atheist's View On Life Could Make Anyone Cry. 4 Minutes In, The Interviewer Almost Gets Choked Up.

It sounds like your atheism is staying strong. Maurice Sendak: It's what? Terry Gross: Staying strong. Maurice Sendak: Yes. And I'm not unhappy about becoming old. But you know, there's something I'm finding out as I'm aging, that I am in love with the world. But I have my young people here who are studying, and they look at me as somebody who knows everything, four kids. Terry Gross: Well, listen... Maurice Sendak: You know, I have to tell you something. Terry Gross: Go ahead.

Maurice Sendak: You are the only person I have ever dealt with in terms of being interviewed who brings this out in me. Terry Gross: Well, I'm really glad we got the chance to speak. Maurice Sendak: Yes, that's what we always do, isn't it? Terry Gross: Yeah, it is. Maurice Sendak: That's what we've always done. Terry Gross: It is. Terry Gross: Yes. Atheists Face Discrimination On A Shocking Level (INFOGRAPHIC) Ghanaian cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson attends a mass at the St Peter's basilica on March 12, 2013 at the Vatican.

Atheists Face Discrimination On A Shocking Level (INFOGRAPHIC)

Cardinals moved into the Vatican today as the suspense mounted ahead of a secret papal election with no clear frontrunner to steer the Catholic world through troubled waters after Benedict XVI's historic resignation.The 115 cardinal electors who pick the next leader of 1.2 billion Catholics in a conclave in the Sistine Chapel will live inside the Vatican walls completely cut off from the outside world until they have made their choice.

In this photo taken on Thursday, July 18, 2013, Hauwa Jubril, a muslim girl sit outside a shop in Obalende, Lagos, Nigeria. Nigeria’s secular and Islamic laws clashed when a senator notorious for marrying a 14-year-old filibustered a vote to amend the constitution by insisting that a girl child comes of age when she marries, not at 18. It’s okay to marry a Republican or Democrat, just not an atheist. When you're bringing that special person home to meet the family, remember this: it's God, not politics, that families will judge them on.

It’s okay to marry a Republican or Democrat, just not an atheist

Family political arguments are as American as apple pie, but it turns out that people don't care much about partisanship when it comes to relationships. Fewer than one in 10 say they'd be "unhappy" if an immediate family member married a Republican or a Democrat, according to a new Pew Research Center poll which, on other fronts, tracked record levels of political polarization. Perhaps blind to Thanksgiving debates to come (or relishing the prospect), more than three quarters say the politics of their future in-laws don't matter. One in seven would be happy with a partisan, so long as they're the "right" party. The poll finds pockets of discontent - 30 percent of Americans who have consistently conservative political views would frown upon a Democrat marrying into the family, as would 23 percent of solid liberals if a Republican married in.

Peyton M. Heaven is for neuroscience: How the brain creates visions of God. For most of recorded history, human beings situated the mind — and by extension the soul — not within the brain but within the heart.

Heaven is for neuroscience: How the brain creates visions of God

When preparing mummies for the afterlife, for instance, ancient Egyptian priests removed the heart in one piece and preserved it in a ceremonial jar; in contrast, they scraped out the brain through the nostrils with iron hooks, tossed it aside for animals, and filled the empty skull with sawdust or resin. (This wasn’t a snarky commentary on their politicians, either—they considered everyone’s brain useless.) Most Greek thinkers also elevated the heart to the body’s summa. Aristotle pointed out that the heart had thick vessels to shunt messages around, whereas the brain had wispy, effete wires.

The heart furthermore sat in the body’s center, appropriate for a commander, while the brain sat in exile up top. Meanwhile, though, some physicians had always had a different perspective on where the mind came from. Apollonius of Tyana. Apollonius of Tyana (Ancient Greek: Ἀπολλώνιος ὁ Τυανεύς; c. 15 – c. 100 CE[2]) was a Greek Neopythagorean philosopher from the town of Tyana in the Roman province of Cappadocia in Asia Minor.

Apollonius of Tyana

Little is known about him with certainty. Being a 1st-century orator and philosopher around the time of Christ, he was compared with Jesus of Nazareth by Christians in the 4th century[3] and by various popular writers in modern times. Life dates[edit] Apollonius was born into a respected and wealthy Greek family,[4][5] his dates however are uncertain. His primary biographer, Philostratus the Elder (c. 170 – 247 CE) places him c. 3 BCE to 97 CE.[6] Others agree that he was roughly a contemporary of Jesus of Nazareth. Sources[edit] By far the most detailed source is the Life of Apollonius of Tyana, a lengthy, novelistic biography written by the sophist Philostratus at the request of empress Julia Domna. Comparisons with Jesus[edit] Biblical scholar Bart D. Historical facts[edit] Miracles[edit] The problem I have with religion version 2.0.

Justice

Is The Internet Killing Religion In America? Brain Activity Shows Basis of Near-Death 'Light' There may be a scientific explanation for the vivid near-death experiences, such as seeing a shining light, that some people report after surviving a heart attack, US scientists said Monday.

Brain Activity Shows Basis of Near-Death 'Light'

Apparently, the brain keeps on working for up to 30 seconds after blood flow stops, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. University of Michigan scientists did their research on nine lab rats that were anesthetized and then subjected to induced cardiac arrest as part of the experiment. PHOTOS: Small Worlds Never Before Seen In the first 30 seconds after their hearts were stopped, they all showed a surge of brain activity, observed in electroencephalograms (EEGs) that indicated highly aroused mental states. "We were surprised by the high levels of activity," said senior author George Mashour, professor of anesthesiology and neurosurgery at the University of Michigan. NEWS: How Active Is the Brain in a Coma? "Do we know if animals experience 'consciousness'? Train kills 37 pilgrims in eastern India. PATNA, India (AP) — A train ran over a group of Hindu pilgrims at a crowded station in eastern India early Monday, killing at least 37 people.

Train kills 37 pilgrims in eastern India

A mob infuriated by the deaths beat the driver severely and set fire to coaches, officials said. Several hours after the accident, flames and dark smoke could be seen billowing out of the train coaches, as protesters blocked firefighters from the station in Dhamara Ghat, a small town in Bihar state, officials said. Dinesh Chandra Yadav, a local member of parliament, said the pilgrims were crossing the tracks in the packed, chaotic station when they were struck by the Rajya Rani Express train. Several other people were injured. S.K. Railway official Arunendra Kumar said the train was not supposed to halt at Dhamara Ghat and had been given clearance to pass through the station.

The train stopped a few hundred meters (yards) beyond the spot where it hit the pilgrims. The mob then got all the passengers out of the train and set some coaches on fire. Researchers Aggregate 63 Studies and Find ‘Significant Negative Association Between Intelligence and Religiosity’ Pakistan's Malala, shot by Taliban, takes education plea to U.N. Respecting religion. Religious Differences. Religion. This is a good analogy for religion. U6zu3Xs.jpg (806×704) The Skeptic's Annotated Bible (book) 8202471945_bf8862b0a6.jpg (500×400) It all makes sense now. Usury. Usury (/ˈjuːʒəri/[1][2]) is the practice of making unethical or immoral monetary loans intended to unfairly enrich the lender.

A loan may be considered usurious because of excessive or abusive interest rates or other factors, but according to some dictionaries, simply charging any interest at all can be considered usury.[3][4][5] Someone who charges usury can be called an usurer, but the more common term in English is loan shark. The term may be used in a moral sense—condemning taking advantage of others' misfortunes—or in a legal sense where interest rates may be regulated by law. Historically, some cultures (e.g., Christianity in much of Medieval Europe, and Islam in many parts of the world today) have regarded charging any interest for loans as sinful. The pivotal change in the English-speaking world seems to have come with the permission to charge interest on lent money,[8] particularly the 1545 Act, "An Act Against Usurie" (37 H. viii 9) of King Henry VIII of England.

Qur'an[edit] 9D47l.jpg (720×453) L5UFn.jpg (720×360) How to suck at your religion. Faith leaders across England in 'HIV healing' claims. 24 September 2012Last updated at 01:14 ET By Andy Dangerfield BBC News, London Synagogue Church Of All Nations website shows videos of people it claims have been "cured" Dangerous cases of faith leaders who tell people with HIV to stop taking their life-saving drugs have been identified by African-led community groups in a number of locations across England. Seven groups said there were instances of people being told by faith leaders they had been "healed" through prayer - and then pressured to stop taking antiretroviral medication, according to the charity African Health Policy Network (AHPN).

Cases were reported to have taken place in Finsbury Park, Tottenham, and Woolwich, in London, as well as in Manchester, Leeds and at a number of churches across the North West. Last year, BBC London identified three people with HIV who died after they stopped taking antiretroviral drugs on the advice of their Evangelical Christian pastors. Multiple cases Cancer 'cure' 'Anointing sticker' tour. 959eb.jpg (2560×1600) Boy Scouts of America membership controversies. The Boy Scouts of America (BSA), one of the largest private youth organizations in the United States, has policies which prohibit atheists, agnostics and, until January 2014, prohibited all "open or avowed" homosexuals from membership in its Scouting program. The ban on "open or avowed" homosexual adults from membership remains in effect. BSA has denied or revoked membership status or leadership positions for violation of these foundational principles. The BSA contends that its policies are essential in its mission to instil in young people the values of the Scout Oath and Law.[1][2] These policies have led to various disputes and controversies.

In 2012, both Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and then President Barack Obama stated that they opposed the ban on gay Scouts.[5][6] On May 23, 2013, the BSA's National Council approved a resolution to remove the restriction denying membership to youth on the basis of sexual orientation alone effective January 1, 2014. [edit] Dude it is a square...I see what you did there! Near Death Experiences. A comparison of the effects of hypoxia to the reports of a brush with the afterlife. By Brian Dunning, Skeptoid Podcast Episode 261, June 07, 2011 Today we're going to float around the operating room, look down at our own body lying there on the table, hear the heart monitor switch to a solid tone, and learn first-hand what some believe goes on during a near death experience.

When a small percentage of people are near death or are temporarily dead, either from an accident or during emergency lifesaving treatment, they report eerie experiences that they interpret as having crossed the threshold into an afterlife. Some authors and researchers have catalogued these reports and concluded that the experiences must have been real, while some skeptical researchers have found that the experiences are the natural and expected result of low oxygen to the brain. It seems the perfect place to point our skeptical eye. In 1975, Dr. Let's take a look at the reports. 1. What about the reverse? Moody, R. Religion riskier than porn for online viruses: study.

Web wanderers are more likely to get a computer virus by visiting a religious website than by peering at porn, according to a study released on Tuesday. "Drive-by attacks" in which hackers booby-trap legitimate websites with malicious code continue to be a bane, the US-based anti-virus vendor Symantec said in its Internet Security Threat Report. Websites with religious or ideological themes were found to have triple the average number of "threats" that those featuring adult content, according to Symantec. "It is interesting to note that websites hosting adult/pornographic content are not in the top five, but ranked tenth," Symantec said in the report.

"We hypothesize that this is because pornographic website owners already make money from the Internet and, as a result, have a vested interest in keeping their sites malware-free; it's not good for repeat business. " Symantec said that it blocked 5.5 billion attacks in 2011 in an increase of 81 percent from the prior year. When it comes to accepting evolution, gut feelings trump facts. EyJsg.jpg (JPEG Image, 540 × 720 pixels) ‘Personhood’ Agenda is Theocracy. World Publics Welcome Global Trade — But Not Immigration. It's only a story.. Senate panel OKs creationism teaching bill.

Explaining Radiometric Dating. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush: Leave Religion Out Of Michigan's Anti-Bullying Bill. Carlin on Religion. The Vatican claims Darwin's theory of evolution is compatible with Christianity. Fox and Friends. 559.jpg (JPEG Image, 850x557 pixels) The Scale of the Universe.

Thanks for all the comments! There are a few of these kind of "Your place in the Universe" presentations like this out there, but I am always glad to spread the wonder around :) – wordlever

Praise the lard? Study links church to obesity - Health - Diet and nutrition. Fact-Checking The Church Of Scientology: Journalist Lawrence Wright. Was Darwin Wrong?